Dartmoor Nature Tours

Discover Dartmoor's wildlife with a professional local guide  


June (updated on Thursday 22nd June, 2017)

June was the fourth month of the old Latin calendar and is thought to have got its name in honour of the Roman goddess Juno.

After an unsettled start the latter part of June produced warm sunny weather with some extremely hot days around the 19th to 21st and then turning cooler from the 22nd.

At this time of year most of the valley bogs and mires on Dartmoor look as if they are covered in snow but what you see is actually the white flower heads of cotton sedge (see picture below, top left).

The valley bogs also have thriving populations of the nationally rare Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary butterfly (see picture below, top right, of adult with large skipper nectaring on marsh thistle).

The adult male butterfly can be seen patrolling low over the boggy breeding sites in search of a mate. Egg-laying females are easy to follow as they flutter slowly and deliberately low down over vegetation, searching out suitable areas of food plant (usually marsh violets) on which to lay. Both sexes are avid nectar feeders, and can be seen at flowers of Bugle, Buttercup, Birds-foot Trefoil, Wood Spurge, Ragged-robin and other plants.

The moorland walk on June 18th produced excellent sightings of birds such as yellowhammer, wheatear and stonechat plus freshwater leeches in Haytor Quarry pond (see picture below, bottom left) and several freshly emerged Green Hairstreak butterflies (see picture below, bottom right).

Future Events

Moorland Walk

The next Moorland Walk will be on Sunday July 15th. The walk will start at 09.30 hours from the Haytor Visitor Centre. Charge is £5.00 per adult. There should still be plenty of moorland birds such as stonechats, wheatears and whitethroats plus a few surprises.

Telephone (0785 8421 148) or e-mail me at enquiries@dartmoornaturetours.co.uk if you need more information about any of these events.

You can also follow me on Twitter @Dartmoorphil